In April and September, over 60 young people aged 15 to 24 attended the event which took the young people through the cultural collections. The tour was presented by members of the Pacific Youth Reconnection Project reference group and the Cultural Collections team, which gave them the opportunity to see Pacific artifacts created by their ancestors.

The young people came from Juvenile Detention Centres and Pacific community groups, providing a rare opportunity for participants to connect with their culture and enhance their sense of identity.

‘I felt a connection with culture and it made me want to learn more’.

What took place on the day?

Throughout the day, young people from all across Sydney participated in weaving, music, Maori haka, Fijian meke, visual arts and airbrushing workshops, encouraging young people to get involved and to learn more about their cultural heritage. Not only did they gain historical knowledge about the practices and objects, but they were also able to learn some of these skills and apply them instantly, to create objects of their own.

This is an important process of not only teaching the young people about these practices, but also providing opportunities for them to create their own works of expression.

‘I enjoyed the weaving and painting the snapback’.

The workshops were presented by Australian Museum staff, Dion Peita, Logan Metcalfe and Thelma Thomas. Special guests on the day included creative contractors, Sammy J, Charles Lomu, Maryann Talia Pau, Samoan Victims Support group Juniors, Fiji Youth Initiatives (FYI) and the Pacific Youth Reconnection Project Reference Group.

Pacific Youth Reconnection Project: at the Museum in 2013
Pacific Youth Reconnection Project: at the Museum in 2013 Image: J. Te-Aroha
© J. Te-Aroha

Why is it important?

The Pacific Youth Reconnection Project is aimed at addressing the over-representation of Pacific young people in the NSW Juvenile Justice system, through creative intervention initiatives which connect young people to the Cultural Collections.

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